Le Vision Signs ‘Lion King’ Director Rob Minkoff for Two Movies

Le Vision Pictures USA is partnering on a two-picture deal with “The Lion King” director Rob Minkoff and producing partner Pietro Ventani under their Flying Tigers Entertainment banner.

The alliance will produce the live-action comedy “Silkworms” and the animated feature “Wolf Totem.”

The studio announced last week that it had teamed with Bernie Goldmann (“The Last Witch Hunter”) to produce Jayson Rothwell’s action movie “Zodiac: Year of the Snake.” Le Vision Pictures USA is the Los Angeles arm of China’s Le Vision Pictures, which produced the three-film “Tiny Times” franchise and co-financed and co-distributed “The Expendables 2” and “The Expendables 3” in China.

Le Vision is also a producer with Universal and Legendary East on Zhang Yimou’s “The Great Wall,” starring Matt Damon.

“‘Silkworms’ and ‘Wolf Totem’ are perfect examples of the ambitious, cross-over projects we look for,” said Le Vision topper Zhang Zhau. “As one of Hollywood’s most established and constantly creative talents, Rob is exactly who we look for in a long-term partner, and someone whose passion for each project matches our own.”

“Silkworms” tells the story of two bumbling monks sent to ancient China by the Holy Roman Emperor to steal the closely guarded secret of Chinese silk production. “Wolf Totem” is based on Lu Jiamin’s novel, portraying the life and death struggle on the Mongolian plains.

“‘Silkworms’ is based on true events, and is actually the first case of industrial espionage in history,” Minkoff said. “The success of the recent live-action adaptation of ‘Wolf Totem’ has inspired us to take a different approach and tell the story from the Wolves’ point of view. It’s what animation does best.”

Minkoff’s credits include “Stuart Little,” “The Forbidden Kingdom” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman.” He’s in production on “Blazing Samurai,” starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, Michael Cera and Mel Brooks.

The deal was negotiated by Steve Saltzman of Loeb & Loeb and Le Vision Pictures’ Simon Sun, as well as Cheryl Snow of Gang, Tyre Ramer & Brown and Adam Kanter of Paradigm.

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